"Now, I’m not typically the type to get up in faces before a show starts, but…"
The camera opens to reveal Adrian Corazon, sitting in his lockerroom with a smile on his face. The crowd is audible from inside the arena as they see him.
Corazon: With Master of the Mat just announced, I didn’t want there to be any mystery or speculation. I didn’t want there to be any question or concern.
He holds up a sheet of paper.
Corazon: This is a bit symbolic since nobody really uses paper anymore, but we’ll call this the Master of the Mat sign-up sheet.
He smirks again.
Corazon: My name is the first name on the symbolic list, and also on the real list. I’ve accomplished a lot in my career. I’ve been the World Heavyweight Champion. The Iron Fist Champion. But you know what I’ve never been? The Master of the Mat. Time for that to change. You know who I am…
"The baddest man alive… Adrian Corazon"
The arena is black, the crowd murmuring. The sound of a steel train bell is heard, it starts out faint, but gradually gets louder and louder. Then, a loud horn sounds and Halestorm’s “Freak Like Me” begins!
I’m on the train that’s pullin the sick and twisted,
Makin the most of the ride before we get arrested,
We’re all wasted,
And we’re not going home tonight.
The faces of Maya Nakashima, Corey Lazarus, Lunatikk Crippler, Dan Stein, and ANARCHY all occupy an even section of the SHOOT Project’s Epitron, blended with the championship belt that each holds.
Covered in black we lack the social graces,
Just like an animal we crawl out of our cages,
They can’t tame us,
So if you’re one of us, get on the bus
The faces disappear as a flag with the SHOOT Project Helmet takes over the screen. The Epitron splits into three views, one with Maya Nakashima when he first captured the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship… the other with Dan Stein squaring off against Trey Willett… the third, Lunatikk Crippler hitting the Lunatikk Sweet!
If you’re a freak like me,
Wave your flag!
If you’re a freak like me,
Get off your ass!
It’s our time now,
To let it all hang out
The flag catches fire, as new faces come into the fray. We see Cameron Ash, Ryan Shane, Kale Tanev, and Eli Storm standing across from each other on an abandoned train platform. Corey Lazarus stands off to the side, watching the other four while Kincaid watches a monitor with vested interest as Jerry Matthews dusts off an old foe, defending the Iron Fist Championship.
We’re underground but we will not surrender,
We’re gonna give them something to remember, yeah,
ANARCHY’s T. Rex and Arch Angel grin, holding the SHOOT Project World Tag Team Championships up as Vermont’s Finest look on. That image is replaced by the gruesome burn that Corazon suffered, the fire burning into his back, but this time the fire takes the shape of the SHOOT Project helmet.
So write your name in gasoline,
And set that shit on fire
The train platform disappears as the burning helmet takes over the rest of the screen, and the last thing you see are the flames illuminating the silhouettes of all the SHOOT Project Soldiers standing, riding on top of a moving train through the black of night.
So shout if you’re a freak like me,
They can’t hold you down,
You were born to rise!
It’s our time now to come out!
If you’re a freak like me!
Pyro EXPLODES as the SHOOT Project Epicenter lights up! The burning SHOOT Project helmet remains on the screen, and the text “Generations Collide” appears underneath it. The crowd pops and the camera shifts to front row, with the unmistakable… unforgettable… irreplaceable announce team, the Other Guy and Eryk Masters!
Eryk Masters: We’re getting right into it! Maya Nakashima and Gabriel Knight take on Jerry Matthews and Zex, RIGHT NOW!
Eryk Masters: The first match up tonight is an interesting one to say the least. Last week after “The Artist” Zex challenged SHOOT Project Heavyweight Champion, Maya Nakashima; Jacob Mephisto made his shocking return to the company and he didn’t come alone.
Other Guy: That’s right; he brought Jerry Matthews and Gabriel Knight along with him and boy did they do a number on Nakashima and Zex.
Eryk Masters: Mephisto waved his right to book Maya’s match here tonight, by pitting the champion with Gabriel Knight to take on the team of Matthews and Zex, in a clear attempt to play mind games. Will it work? We are about to find out next…
Before Samantha Coil can even raise the Microphone to her mouth, She notices that Gabriel Knight and Jerry Matthews are already on their way down to the ring, neither of them bothering to wait for the introductions here tonight…Knight and Matthews then circle the ring as the crowd shower them with boos and jeers…
Other Guy: Well, that’s…Different.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, he is the partner of Jerry Matthews …From Toronto, Ontario, Canada… “THE ARTIST” ZEEEEEEEEEEEEEX!
The melodic tones of “Wait” by DIIV start up and “The Artist” Zex races out onto the stage already much to the delight of the crowd. Zex looks down the ramp at the two men who attacking last week, who are still circling the ring.
When “HORIZON” By D’espairsRay kicks in over the speakers; causing the fans to erupt with deafening cheers.
Samantha Coil: And the partner of Gabriel Knight…From Nagasaki, Japan…He is the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion…MAAAYAAA NAAAKAAASHIIIMAAA!
The words “CAN YOU FEEL THE NEW WORLD?” scribble across the SHOOT-Tron in elaborate silver script for a moment. The searchlights converge on the ramp, as Maya steps out beside “The Artist.” The script on the SHOOT-Tron fades slowly into light particles, the moment Maya lifts his head, along with the SHOOT Project World Title, as the word “HOPE” etches its way across the video screen, and the spotlights SHOOT out in all direction as the lights in the Epicentre surge on to their most brilliant and brightest.
Eryk Masters: Maya wasn’t about to let Zex walk to the ring on his own, not when those two vultures are waiting down there.
Other Guy: A part of me wishes that we saw Zex and Maya Vs Knight and Matthews tonight.
Eryk Masters: I’m with you there, OG.
Nakashima and Zex make their way to the ring, flanked by the cheers of the crowd, they simultaneously slide into the ring and after a respectful nod towards eachother before they make their way to their respective corners.
Maya Nakashima glances over his shoulder as Gabriel Knight slithers onto the ring apron behind him, with a jackal like grin etched onto his face; Matthews climbs onto the opposing apron, his eyes locked onto the SHOOT Heavyweight Champion, before climbing into the ring.
Eryk Masters: I don’t think I’ve ever seen two men on an opposing team come to the ring together before, OG.
Other Guy: What did you expect them to do, walk to the ring holding hands with Maya and Zex?
Matthews gets right in Zex’ face and begins using his size to attempt push “The Artist” back against the turnbuckle. The reverend point’s to the outside and orders Zex out of the ring, so that he can get his hands on Maya Nakashima. “The Artist” shrugs and steps through the ropes and onto the apron; letting Matthews have his way.
Eryk Masters: Looks like Matthews and Maya are going to start this one.
The referee calls for the bell and instantly Zex leans over the ropes and with a harsh slap across the back of Jerry Matthews, tagging himself in. A furious Jerry turns as a smug “Artist” springs over the top rope and walks straight right past “God’s Broadsword” and to the centre of the ring.
Other Guy: From the look on Jerry’s face, you’d think somebody pissed in the holy water.
The SHOOT Project Heavyweight Champion steps forward extending his hand; the crowd cheer loudly as the two men show their respect for each other by shaking hands, much as they did last week.
Other Guy: Next these two will be swapping make-up tips.
Eryk Masters: Come on, OG. You gotta love the show of respect.
Other Guy: Oh, I do…I just wanted to see Maya give Matthews hell.
Nakashima and Xavier begin to circle each other, feeling out with their hands and looking to lock up; they reach in simultaneously and enter a collar and elbow tie, “The Artist” being the bigger of the two turns the hold into a side headlock.
Eryk Masters: Textbook side headlock from Zex.
Maya pushes Zex forward, slipping out of the headlock and sending “The Artist” towards the ropes. On the rebound the Japanese sensation leapfrogs Zex and both men race to opposing ropes, as Knight and Matthews look on begrudgingly.
They bounce back towards each other, picking up speed with each step they take towards the centre of the ring. Here Maya leaps up into the air and wraps his legs around Xavier’s head, thus flipping the Canadian over with a Headscissors…Zex shifts his bodyweight mid-air, hand-planting the mat and twisting over to his feet…Both men quickly turn, with raised fists, only to find themselves in a standoff situation.
Other Guy: I love a standoff. I also love the fact that Matthews and Knight are standing off to the side.
They reach in for a second time, only this time Maya twists Zex’ arm and then spins behind him with a hammerlock, Zex reaches up behind him taking hold of Nakashima’s head he drops down to a seated position, flipping Maya over, but Maya rolls out landing on his feet.
Nakashima turns throwing a buzzsaw style kick although “The Artist” flattens himself to avoid the blow, Maya but as soon as Zex does this Maya turns the kick’s momentum into a swift, sharp, side elbow drop…
Eryk Masters: That was an electrifying elbow.
Other Guy: Electrifying?
The point of Nakashima’s elbow connects with the centre of Xavier’s chest, knocking the wind out of “The Artist” the Heavyweight Champion doesn’t stop there and continues to keep his momentum going by rolling up to his feet and leaping forward with a flipping Senton, it connects and Maya instantly pulls leg up.
Zex uses his legs and arms to roll backwards locking Maya in a Crucifix-Pin.
Maya handstands up and then over, breaking out of the Crucifix-Pin cleanly by landing on his feet and instantly dropping a double leg-drop, Zex rolls back up to a vertical base as Maya lands in a seated position. “The Artist” swiftly leaps forward, taking hold of Nakashima’s head and hitting a standing Blockbuster-Neckbreaker.
Eryk Masters: These fans are on their feet after that exchange.
Zex holds onto Maya’s head and neck, turning with a Crocodile-Roll, turning Maya onto his front; “The Artist” kneels and stands, lifting the champion up for a Suplex before dropping him down front first into a face buster…Nakashima bounces over to his back from the impact and Zex reaches forward to hook a leg.
Other Guy: Another quick pin attempt.
The master of “Lunatic High” kicks backwards, his foot connecting with Xavier’s forehead, not once, not twice but three times. Zex drops back and where both he and Maya roll to opposite sides of the ring and stand. Here they charge towards eachother, Zex throws a clothesline, Maya ducks…They race to opposing ropes, Zex rebounds as Maya hops over the top rope…
Zex jumps forward with front-missile drop kick, attempting to blast Maya in the midsection though the top and middle rope. Maya sees this coming and holds onto the top rope leaping up to avoid the kick.
To stop himself from crashing and burning out of the ring, Zex plants the palms of his hands on the top rope, his ass colliding with the middle rope, in a seated like position, Maya lands back down on the apron for a split second before flipping over the ropes and comes crashing down onto the chest and head of “The Artist” with a leg-drop and a hook of the leg…
Matthews is about to step into the ring…
Zex gets his foot on the ropes and referee Linam is quick to turn and make sure that Matthews stays out on the apron; the moment his back his turned Knight charges into the ring and dives down towards Zex but Maya yanks “The Artist” by the arm and out of dodge. Linam turns and is quick to read the riot act the Knight and get him out of there.
Other Guy: I mean, I know that Maya is a stand-up guy and all, but why on earth didn’t he take the cheap shot there?
Eryk Masters: The answer you are looking for is in that sentence somewhere.
Other Guy: Nope, don’t get.
Eryk Masters: Because…He’s…A…Stand-up…Guy.
Zex is now back to his feet and the two men begin to circle eachother again, Maya charges and Zex side steps with a drop toe hold sending Maya chest first across the middle rope; “The Artist” then races to the opposing ropes and comes flaying back towards Nakashima looking for his patented soccer punt.
Eryk Masters: This will be the second time Maya has taken Anal Zex.
Other Guy: Yeah, like I’m going to believe that.
Though, realising what’s coming Maya mule kicks back, Zex acts quickly and grabs hold of Maya’s feet, yanking in close and then up and over with a devastating Wheelbarrow-Suplex that sends the Champion back first into the mat…Zex arches up off the mat and Linam counts the pin.
“The Artist” rolls out, taking Maya by the wrist and pulling him up to his feet; Zex then whips Maya into the turnbuckle WHERE Jerry Matthews is standing…
Other Guy: Oh no, he’s not going to tag Matthews in is he, After Maya saved him from Knight’s attack!?
Realising his mistake, Zex hesitates for a second and then rushes at Maya with a corner splash; as he lands Zex’s forearm crashes into the face of “The Reverend” sending him tumbling off the apron and crashing into the barricade.
Eryk Masters: Did that answer your question?
After the splash “The Artist” whips Maya to the opposing corner and follows quickly behind…Maya scales the turnbuckle and backflips over with a Moonsault taking Zex down to the mat and straight into a pin attempt.
In disbelief Maya rocks back onto his knees as a standing ovation fills the arena.
Other Guy: I could watch Maya and Zex face each other every week.
Eryk Masters: I’m with you on that one, OG. But imagine what they could do if they were on the same team here tonight?
Nakashima pulls Zex up and then slams a lethal forearm shot to his chest…Zex staggers back and then steps forward blasting Maya’s chest with shin-kick…Nakashima winces and then flings a kick of his own, connecting to “The Artist’s” rib area… Followed by yet another forearm…Zex absorbs the shot and fights through the pain, spinning his whole body and cracking Maya in the jaw with a Spinning Backfist, that literally turns Maya the other way around…But before “The Artist” can do anything; Maya backflips over with a picture perfect Pele-Kick that sends Zex back into the ropes.
Other Guy: What an exchange.
Eryk Masters: It’s not over yet, Zex is coming back at him…
Both “The Artist” and the SHOOT Heavyweight Champion throw out Superkick’s in each other’s direction, Maya’s kick connects to Xavier’s calf muscle thus dropping “The Artist” to one knee…Nakashima swings out a Buzzsaw kick, but Zex ducks and hops up to his feet, only to be whipped into the turnbuckle for his troubles.
Maya rushes towards “The Artist” and eats two feet to the face, staggering him backwards…Zex leaps up to the top turnbuckle, but Nakashima charges forward scaling the turnbuckle and wrapping his legs around Xavier’s head, flipping him down to the mat with a Super-Hurricanrana!
Holy Shit! Holy Shit! Holy Shit! Chant the fans as both men lay battered and bruised in centre of the ring.
Eryk Masters: When you take two men filled with heart and passion and put them against each other like this, then the results are outstanding.
Before either Zex or Nakashima can move; an angry and disgruntled Jerry Matthews slides into the ring from the outside, Linam is ready to cut him off when Knight also enters and the two, clearly frustrated men begin to stomp on both Maya and Zex.
Other Guy: What they hell, they’re even attacking their own partners.
Linam calls for the bell and then attempts to get in the middle of Knight and Matthews and break up the attack. Knight turns shoving the referee down to the mat with a thud, as boos rain down from the SHOOT Faithful.
Eryk Masters: Come on, someone get security out here…Don’t let this show start on the same note as last weeks ending.
Boot after boot the Knight and Matthews violently stomp down on the men they were scheduled to team with tonight. Knight lets out a wild smile, nodding at Matthews before pulling Nakashima to his feet and slams a side elbow to the head, before Maya can stagger “The Reverend” steps in and whips him into the turnbuckle with authority, Nakashima slumps down in the corner barely able to keep his eyes open.
The two men then turn their sights to “The Artist” taking hold of both of his arms, dragging him up to his feet, Knight then cracks Zex across the face with a backhand as Matthews connects a hard punch to the gut.
Other Guy: Jacob Mephisto does it again; I expect his music any second now.
Matthews and Knight position themselves ready to toss the limp beaten body of “The Artist” towards the sunken Nakashima…When suddenly the crowd explodes with cheers, a move which distracts the attackers.
Before they even notice what the commotion is about a stocky, heavyset black man leaps over the barricade and instantly slides into the ring.
Other Guy: Who, who the hell is that…Not another one of Mephisto’s goons?
Eryk Masters: Wait, I recognise this man. He and Zex have teamed together numerous times over the years…If I am correct, that’s Omar Owens!?
The man now identified as Omar Owens makes a beeline for Knight leaping and tackling him down to the mat, Matthews quickly and unabashedly drops to the ground and rolls straight out of the ring, leaving Knight to take a few heavy punches from the man known as “O2.”
Owens looks over his shoulder and spots that his former partner is down, just in time for Matthews to pulls Knight out of the ring. Nakashima begins to pull himself up using the ropes as Omar turns around acknowledging the SHOOT Heavyweight Champion, much to the liking of the crowd.
Eryk Masters: I think it’s safe to say that we’re all thankful that another beat down didn’t take place.
Other Guy: And now Maya Nakashima is making sure that Zex is okay, what a show of sportsmanship.
Maya helps “The Artist” to his feet, whispering inaudible words into his ear as he shoulders his weight. Owens quickly steps in, aiding Nakashima in his quest to assist Zex as the fans continue to show their support.
Eryk Masters: Maya Nakashima said it best last week when he said that SHOOT Project was heading into a new era; and as I look into that ring where these three men are raising eachothers arms, I know he was right.
Following an unorthodox tagteam opener, it’s only apropos for the show to arrive inside the locker room of
the SHOOT Project Tag Team Champions. They sit there silently thinking about their match. There’s still a
ton of time to go before their main event title defense against Lunatik Crippler and Corey Lazrus, but they
know the challenge before them and aren’t messing around when it comes to preparation. They may have
put on some extra pounds, and who knows if that will hurt them by night’s end, but no one can deny that
these boys are the picture of cohesion and unity.
They are STILL the men to beat in the tag team division.
Both men are in mesh workout shirts and plain grey tshirts, with the sleeves cut off. Hanging in each
man’s locker his SHOOT Project Tag Team Championship. The camera lingers light glistening off the gold
as we hear Eryk Masters’ voice.
Eryk Masters: ((Voice Over)) Our tag team champions are already gearing up for the main event,
and it’s a pretty big one.
Other Guy: ((Voice Over)) Oh, absolutely, Eryk. It’s been a bit of time in between defenses for our
tag champs, so a little lag is going to be expected… BUT, you gotta keep in mind… Crip and Laz are both
coming off some pretty tough title losses and will undoubtedly be VERY hungry for a…
OG’s voice trails off.
And the SHOOT Project Epicenter suddenly breaks into a sizeable ROAR.
The DEFILER: Lookin’ sharp, guys. (Nodding his head, gently pounding his right fist into his left
palm) How we feelin’ tonight?
The former SHOOT Project World Champion, in a black Adidas track suit with white trim, arrives on the
scene, though, judging by the confused stares from Angel and TRex… it may not necessarily be a very
TRex: Oh… Hey man… Uh. Yeah. Feeling alright. We’re cool…
Arch Angel: (Not as warm) Shit’s good. (Quick, to the point) You need something?
He senses the cold tones and short responses.
The DEFILER: I know… it’s uh… (Motioning between him and the champs) This is probably
random, but after what happened at the last show… the pieces are in place for some bad shit, and I…
(Making sure to use the right words) I’m just stopping by some of the locker rooms and… Ya know…
checking in. I’m gonna be watching the monitors and…
Angel cuts him off.
Arch Angel: Thanks.
The quick remark brings a little tension. Jonny bites his bottom lip and gives an understanding, single nod.
The DEFILER: Cool. Yeah. I just… Ya know, those titles… (gesturing to the SHOOT Project tag
team belts) They mean a lot to me. I helped define tag team wrestling for this company. I was the standard
bearer, man. For a long time. And with the uneasy vibes of everything that started last week… I uhh…
Well… Look, I just want to know that the people at the top of the card are covered.
He gestures again at the championship titles.
The DEFILER: You guys are two of the most important humans in the company. That’s what those
He’s cut off again.
TRex: He said THANKS, man.
This time Jonny doesn’t receive the interuption as warmly.
The DEFILER: Okay… see… THIS….? What’s with this piss attitude? From you guys… from the
whole fucking roster. The SHOOT Project World Champion and this COMPANY got put on notice two
weeks ago, and everyone’s acting like "Oh, business as usual?". That could be YOU TWO. In fact, if this
"Despair" thing gets any traction, or god forbid kids like Riley, Quinn and Wailer pick up any momentum… It
WILL be you two. I’ve seen this shit a THOUSAND TIMES. I…
Having possibly heard enough, Angel grabs one of the tag team titles and slings it over his shoulder as he
takes an aggressive posture.
Arch Angel: And "IF" they come at us, we’ll handle our business. (continuing to get aggitated) or if
its your former running buddies? Won’t be the first scrawny dirtbags we’ve had to manhandle. Seaside
Heights was crawling with ‘em.
TRex stays seated. Eyes focused on the Defiler. He smirks.
TRex: What HE said. We appreciate your concern, though.
The response seems to knock Jonny into a stunned silence. He swallows back some apparent frustration
and takes a deep breath.
The DEFILER: Okay. Yeah. (Nodding) Sure… Uhh… Cool. I can take a hint. Heh. Yeah… I
guess uhhh… I guess then…
He lets out a long breath.
"Have a good match, and…"
"And stay safe."
The tag champs simply stare back, their eyes pushing Jonny out the door.
The DEFILER complies and exits.
The feed was inexplicably cut for this match…
In the backstage area of the Epicenter, Chaos is wearing a maintenance man’s uniform and skipping along quite merrily. He appears to be singing to himself. In his right hand a bouquet of roses and in his left is an industrial staple gun.
Chaos: Run, run, run as fast as you can. You?ll never catch me, I?m the gingerbread man. I ran from the baker and his wife too. You?ll never catch me, not any of you.
Chaos continues to skip along the corridor until he reaches Dan Stein’s locker room door. He stops but is still singing the Gingerbread Man to himself.
Chaos:Run, run, run as fast as you can. You?ll never catch me, I?m the gingerbread man. I ran from the baker and his wife too. You?ll never catch me, not any of you.
Chaos puts the bouquet of roses against the door and holds them there while uses the staple gun to pin them to the door. He continues singing, but changes tracks to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
Chaos:Twinkle, twinkle little star. How I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky.
Chaos reaches inside his shirt and pulls out a picture of Dan Stein. There is a crudely drawn love heart on the picture followed by the Chaos in chicken scrawl. Chaos kisses the picture and leaves red lipstick on the mouth of Dan Stein. He holds it against the door and uses the staple gun to pin it to the door. The points of the staples go right through the eyes of Dan Stein. Chaos skips away singing Three Blind Mice.
Chaos: Three blind mice, three blind mice, See how they run, see how they run, They all ran after the farmer’s wife, Who cut off their tails with a carving knife, Did you ever see such a thing in your life, As three blind mice?
As Chaos disappears and his voice trails off Dan Stein’s locker room door clicks open. Slowly, the door slides open, at first revealing the green eye on the pale face of the red-headed woman that Dan Stein loving calls Molly, his Assistant. Molly finally swings the door open when she realizes that Chaos has gone to get ready for the Sin City Championship match, and looks at the picture on the door.
Molly, the Assistant: I… think it’s a love letter…from Chaos…
Stein peeks his head out from behind the opened door. As Molly moves out of the way, Toni and Tina, Stein’s bodyguards from Flex Magazine, step out from the room and stand guard in the doorway. Stein reaches up and tentatively pulls down the picture, pulling the staple out through the top. Stein looks at the picture, rubbing his thumb over the lipstick on his face.
Dan Stein: Aww, man. See, this is why I don’t let women kiss me.
Stein shows the picture to Molly.
Dan Stein: Stage 5 Clinger. Stage five. I have to end this.
Stein puts his foot down.
Dan Stein: Tonight.
Dan turns his back to the door. Molly takes a look to her left, then her right down the hall. She closes the door to Stein’s locker room, and the two muscle-bound twins step in front of the door to block the camera.
The camera opens up to show Jason Johnson’s smiling face as a graphic for Master of the Mat imposes itself on the bottom of the screen. Then, the name "Maya Nakashima" appears. The crowd pops!
Jason Johnson: I’ll pretend that love was for me, but I definitely know better. I’m not going to take up much time, I just wanted to talk about what the main event is going to be for Master of the Mat. It’ll feature that man whose name you see at the bottom of the screen, and it’s going to feature one other man. Just one person, though. No multiple person scenarios… nothing like that. It’ll be a straight up one on one match.
Jason Johnson: So you’re probably wondering who Maya will face at Master of the Mat… who will he be defending his title against? Well, the answer is simple. There’s a man on this roster who’s earned a one on one title opportunity and who has been waiting very patiently for a very, very long time to receive it, and that man…
The name "LOCO MARTINEZ" takes place next to Maya’s name and the crowd pops HUGE.
Jason Johnson: Did they do the graphic too early…? Ugh… I swear, you go away for a few months and when you come back, you have to re-train the design crew. ANYWAY. At Master of the Mat, Maya Nakashima will defend the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship against the 2013 winner of the Master of the Mat tournament… Loco Martinez! Now you may pop.
The crowd pops!
Jason Johnson: Thanks for that. I’m out. Enjoy the rest of the show!
Eryk Masters: Up next we have the debut of “The Bulldog” Shawn O’Reilly, as he faces “Right Now” Ryan Shane. Shane is coming off a bitter defeat in the threeway Sin City Title Match last week, when he was pinned by Dan Stein.
Other Guy: I wouldn’t read too much into that loss, Eryk. I’m sure Ryan will bounce back this week against the ‘elder statesman,’ Shawn O’Reilly.
Here I come again now baby
Like a dog in heat
Tell it’s me by the clamor now baby
I like to tear up the street
Now I’ve been smoking for so long
You know I’m here to stay
Got you in a stranglehold baby
You best get out of the way
“Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent plays as Shawn O’Reilly makes his way to the ring. The crowd cheers him as he shakes hands with the fans. He rolls under the bottom rope and goes to each corner, where he climbs to the middle turnbuckle and returns the fans cheers. After the final salute, O’Reilly goes to his corner and waits for his opponent.
“Victim” by Eighteen Visions plays as Ryan Shane makes his way to the ring to a mixed reaction from the crowd. Shane enters the ring, SHOOTs a sneer O’Reilly’s way and goes to his corner.
Samantha Coil: THE FOLLOWING CONTEST IS SET FOR ONE FALL. INTRODUCING FIRST….WEIGHING IN AT 210 POUNDS…FROM ALLEN PARK, MICHIGAN…”RIGHT NOW” RYAN SHANE!
Another mixed reaction for Shane.
Samantha Coil: AND HIS OPPONENT…WEIGHING IN AT 224 POUNDS…ORIGINALLY FROM BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS…NOW MAKING HIS HOME IN CLOONE, IRELAND..THIS IS “THE BULLDOG” SHAWN O’REILLY!
The crowd pops for O’Reilly who raises his hand in the air.
Samantha Coil: YOUR REFEREE…TONY LORENZO!
The referee calls for the bell.
O’Reilly and Shane lock up. O’Reilly with a quick arm drag. Both men get to their feet, and O’Reilly grabs a headlock. Shane backs him into a corner. Referee Lorenzo calls for the break. Shane backs away, his hands in the air.
Eryk Masters: Will we see a clean break?
Shane slaps O’Reilly’s face.
Other Guy: I’d say no.
Shawn rubs his cheek, a little smile on his face.
Shawn and Shane lockup again. This time, O’Reilly backs Shane into the corner. Lorenzo calls for the break, and O’Reilly backs away, but not before Shane slaps his face again. O’Reilly responds with a hard right hand that drops Ryan. Shane gets to his feet but is dropped again by another O’Reilly right hand. Shawn pulls Ryan up and hits an uppercut forearm that sends him into the corner. Shawn hits another uppercut, then takes two steps back and slaps Shane’s face, knocking him on his butt.
Eryk Masters: Now that’s what I call payback!
The crowd is on Shane’s case as he chastises referee Lorenzo for allowing O’Reilly to disrespect him. Lorenzo shrugs his shoulders and orders him out of the corner. Ryan complies and goes to lockup with Shawn. Ryan sneaks a poke to O’Reilly’s eye and follows it up with a hard left hand.
Eryk Masters: That punch rocked O’Reilly!
Other Guy: The old man is in trouble already!
Ryan kicks O’Reilly in the gut, sending him to a knee. Shane grabs O’Reilly by the hair and throws him through the ropes to the floor. O’Reilly lands hard on the floor. Ryan goes to the floor and begins putting the boots to Shawn, who is trying to get to his feet.
Referee Lorenzo: 1….
Shawn gets to a kneeling position.
O’Reilly fires a punch to Shane’s midsection.
Another punch gives O’Reilly the distance needed to get to his feet.
Shawn charges “Right Now,” who backdrops him to the concrete floor.
O’Reilly is writhing on the floor in pain as Shane cockily walks over to him.
Ryan picks O’Reilly up, rolls him into the ring, and follows him in. Shane goes for the cover.
O’Reilly gets his foot on the bottom rope at the last instant.
Eryk Masters: O’Reilly barely go his foot on the rope in time.
Other Guy: He doesn’t even have the strength to kick out. This old dog’s worn out. Why did Jason Johnson even hire this guy?
Ryan pulls O’Reilly up and whips him into the opposite corner. He follows him in, crashing into him with a Stinger splash. Shane grabs O’Reilly as he staggers out of the corner and hits a textbook double underhook suplex. Ryan floats over and hooks the far leg as Referee Lorenzo makes the count.
O’Reilly kicks out at two.
Other Guy: Shane almost had him there. It’s not gonna be long now.
O’Reilly drags himself to the corner and tries to get to his feet, but Shane cuts him off and begins stomping him into the mat. Lorenzo steps in and separates the two. O’Reilly uses the ropes to get to his feet. Shawn advances towards him, but is met with a kick to the gut. O’Reilly lands a right hand to the jaw of “Right Now,” and follows it up with several hard knife-edge chops that light up Shane’s chest.
Shawn begins peppering Shane with right jabs that have him reeling. O’Reilly floors him with a spinning backfist. O’Reilly hooks the leg as Lorenzo goes to make the count.
Shane kicks out at one.
Shawn pulls Ryan to his feet and picks him up for a vertical suplex. Ryan shifts his weight and floats over. He hits the ropes and chopblocks “The Bulldog.”
Eryk Masters: He could’ve blown O’Reilly’s knee out!
Other Guy: You can see the pain etched on the old man’s face!
Ryan grabs O’Reilly’s left foot and applies the spinning toe hold.
Shane torques on the leg of O’Reilly, making the veteran yell i pain. Lorenzo asks Shawn if he wants to submit, but O’Reilly screams “NO!” Shane re-applies the spinning toe hold, then segs into the figure four. O’Reilly is fighting wildly to escape, as Lorenzo asks him if he wants to give. O’Reilly’s shoulders land on the mat and Lorenzo is right there to make the count.
O’Reilly raises himself up and swings at Shane, who is mocking “The Bulldog.” Shane’s mocking quickly turns to concern as O’Reilly begins to roll them over, reversing the hold and redirecting the pressure onto Shane’s legs. Ryan wastes no time getting to the ropes. Referee Lorenzo untangles the two combatants, O’Reilly rolls to the corner, holding his left leg. Shane gingerly walks over to him and pulls him up to his feet. Holding O’Reilly by his hair, Shane begins slapping his face. Shawn pushes him away and retaliates with a hard right hand. O’Reilly grabs Shane by hhis hair and pulls him in. He then begins a series of rapid fire headbutts that end up sending Ryan through the ropes to the floor.
O’Reilly steps out onto the apron and waits for Shane to get to his feet. O’Reilly gets a running start and launches himself off the apron with a somersault senton onto Ryan, causing them to both crash into the barricades. Lorenzo begins to count as both men struggle to get to their feet.
Shane gets to his feet first
O’Reilly is quick to follow.
Shane hits O’Reilly with a left.
O’Reilly fires back with a chop.
Shane with another left.
O’Reilly goes for a kick, but Shane catches his leg. Shawn surprises Ryan with an enzuigiri.
O’Reilly pulls Shane up and rolls him under the bottom rope.
O’Reilly climbs into the ring and begins to fire himself up. He picks Shane up and hits the rolling German suplexes, ending with a bridging German suplex that gets a two-count.
Eryk Masters: How did Ryan kick out of that!?
Other Guy: Cause this is REVOLUTION, and you go all out!
O’Reilly pulls Ryan to his feet, and whips across the ring into the corner. He follows him in with a running lariat. Shane staggers out of the corner and flops to the mat. . O’Reilly hops through the ropes and climbs to the top. He leaps off and crashes into Shane with a flying headbutt. O’Reilly hurts himself as much as Shane, and cannot make the cover.
Other Guy: What a stupid move by O’Reilly.
Shawn and Shane get to their feet and begin trading blows. Shane hits a left hand. Shawn fires back with a chop. Ryan gets the advantage with a quick flurry of left hands. A discus punch send O’Reilly to the mat.
Eryk Masters: SOUTHPAW SHUFFLE!
Other Guy: He’s setting the old man up for the finish.
Ryan waits for Shawn to get to his feet. O’Reilly uses the ropes to get to a vertical base. Shane comes up from behind to hit the Someday Snap, but Shawn holds onto the ropes, causing Shane to crash to the mat. O’Reilly pulls Ryan up, hits a full nelson bomb, then slaps on the rear naked choke.
Eryk Masters: SOUTH END STRANGLEHOLD!
Other Guy: This isn’t MMA! That’s illegal.
Shane fights to escape the hold, but soon begins to fade. Referee Lorenzo checks the arm of Ryan Shane.
2… it drops
3…it drops and Lorenzo calls for the bell.
O’Reilly releases the hold and gets to his feet. Lorenzo raises his hand in victory as Samantha Coil makes the announcement.
Samantha Coil: HERE IS YOUR WINNER…”THE BULLDOG” SHAWN O’REILLY!!!
Eryk Masters: We’re scheduled to hear from the new Rule of Surrender Champion Kale Tanev next. He wasn’t booked to compete tonight, and he made it clear he wasn’t happy about it.
Other Guy: It doesn’t seem like this guy is very happy about anything. Have you heard his promos? So morose. I don’t understand what he’s so angry about. He just won a championship in the world’s leading wrestling promotion!
Eryk Masters: I’m guessing that’s why he’s coming out here tonight to address the crowd at the Epicentre for the first time ever.
”All my life I’ve been searching for something
Something never comes never leads to nothing
Nothing satisfies but I’m getting close
Closer to the prize at the end of the rope”
The video wall comes to life, with a pulsating version of the KT logo exploding into vibrant action of highlights from Kale Tanev’s two SHOOT Project matches against Kincaid and Lunatik Crippler.
”All night long I dream of the day
When it comes around then it’s taken away
Leaves me with the feeling that I feel the most
Feel it come to life when I see your ghost”
As the first chorus to the Foo Fighter’s “All My Life” ends, Kale Tanev steps out from behind the curtain. The crowd pops loudly. He’s wearing his ring gear, old black basketball shorts and his SHOOT Project t-shirt. Slung over his shoulder is the Rule of Surrender title belt. He makes his way quickly down the ramp towards the ring, rolling under the bottom rope.
Kale Tanev: They didn’t want me here tonight
The crowd boos loudly.
: Kale Tanev: But to be honest, I don’t have anywhere else to go. Head office told me that I needed to get my life in order before I could compete again. It’s sort of funny. The only reason I’m here is to try and get my life back into a semblance of order.
Tanev seems like he may be on the verge of breaking down, but he drops the microphone from his lips and takes a moment to collect himself.
Kale Tanev: They meant that they needed me to have my particulars in order. I needed to be able to work in the States legally. And I needed a fixed address to stay on the payroll. It’s not like the old days I hear the vets talking about where you go to the corner office after the show and they hand you a wad of cash.
He pulls a folded piece of paper out of his pocket and unfurls it, holding it up in front of his face.
Kale Tanev: Two weeks from tonight, I won’t be in front of you with a mic in my face. Next week, I will be back in the ring! You see this, head office? This is a lease.
He lets the paper falls to the canvas.
Kale Tanev: I came to the SHOOT Project because it presented a solution to a problem I have. I can never right the wrongs I’ve done. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be a better man tomorrow than I am today. I can still try to care for my own. But stay out of my way. Don’t think I don’t hear the whispers backstage and in the media. “It’s too soon,” they say. “He’s not ready,” they say. I EARNED this.
Tanev thrusts the Rule of Surrender championship in the air and the crowd reacts.
Kale Tanev: For the first time in years I actually have a reason to wake up in the morning. I’m starting to climb out of the pit. Four months ago I learned the news. It sent me into a spiral that was almost as bad as when I left home. The self-pity. The drinking. The misery. The desperation. The decisions that I will forever carry shame.
He pauses for a moment, readjusting the belt on his shoulder.
Kale Tanev: Three months ago I was hiding under a car in a seedy part of Pittsburgh while two armed men looked for me. To earn a few dollars, I had taken something very important from some very bad men. And they wanted it back. I’ll never forget watching my cold breath hitting against the underbody of the car, condensating against the cold metal. Then counting the seconds until the vapour dripped off the car back onto my face. Trying to stay still and silent so they didn’t kill me. The SHOOT Project has given me a new life!
The crowd pops loudly.
Kale Tanev: This is just the start!
He thrusts the title belt into the air with one hand, the strap dangling down his arm as the crowd’s volume intensifies.
Kale Tanev: I will not be satisfied with just the Rule of Surrender title. I am not satisfied. I’m coming for it all. It started with the Rule of Surrender. But I’ve got my eyes on every SHOOT Project championship.
I’ve got my eyes on the Master of the Mat!
The mic slams into the canvas with a thud and “All my Life” blasts through the Epicentre as Tanev steps between the ropes and exits the ring.
Eryk Masters: There we have it! Kale Tanev has declared himself for the epic 32-man Master of the Mat tournament!
Other Guy: This is already shaping up to be the most compelling tournament in professional wrestling history.
“Circus” by Britney Spears hits the PA as Chaos walks out, but something… something is amiss.
Eryk Masters: What is he wearing…
Other Guy: Red wig… business suit… skirt… heels…
Eryk Masters: He looks just like—
Other Guy: MOLLY. HAHA.
Chaos comes out, obviously dressed as Molly. He walks down to the ramp, smiling to himself. He gets to the ring and begins to walk around the outside… he does this repeatedly.
Eryk Masters: That’s fifteen… sixteen…
Other Guy: He stopped at seventeen, and he’s…
Chaos takes his skirt off and reveals a pair of ring shorts with the face of Dan Stein airbrushed on the front. A skidmark is also visible on the backside. He then takes his heels off and finally climbs into the ring to wait for his opponent.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first… standing at six feet tall… weighing in at two hundred, thirty pounds… he is the challenger… CHAOS!
“YOU’VE GOT THE TOUCH! YOU’VE GOT THE POWER!”
The fans in the arena EXPLODE in boos at the INSTANT that Stan Bush’s “The Touch” blares over the PA system. As blue and hot pink spotlights dance over the stage, Tina and Toni from Flex Magazine walk out from the back wearing Golden Boy workout shirts and yoga pants. The muscular women walk out to the ramp, and cross their arms over their chests. A woman dressed in an Avicii t-shirt with skinny jeans walks out from the back with Molly the Chimp in tow. The chimp has a baby blue Dan Stein t-shirt on, and blows raspberries out at the fans. Molly, Stein’s assistant, steps out from the backstage area leading Dan Stein out from the back. Dan has the Sin City Championship belt strapped like a bandolier over a baby blue vest and hood. The Golden Boy stops to shadow box at the top of the ramp. Samantha opens a piece of paper she held in her hand.
Samantha Coil: He is the former SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion, a TWO time former Iron Fist Champion, former World Tag Team Champion and the 2012 Redemption Rumble winner. Weighing in at two-hundred and fifteen pounds, from right here in Las Vegas, Nevada! Here is YOUR TWO-TIME REIGNING and DEFENDING SIN. CITY. CHAMPION….. The Golden Boy! DAAAAAAAAAAN STEIIIIIIIIN!!!!
Stein, raises his hands as the fans continue to rain down boos on him as the entourage begins to walk down the ramp. Walking down to the ring, Stein keeps his head lowered, continuing to shadow box! As Stein makes it to the ring, he stops, looking to his left, then his right, and…leaps to the apron. Dan ducks under the top rope into the ring. He shadow boxes for a few more seconds before stopping in the middle of the ring, bouncing lightly on the balls of his feet.
Dennis Heflin calls for the bell as Chaos and Dan Stein meet in the middle of the ring. Stein immediately goes behind Chaos and locks him up. He pulls Chaos down with a basic wrestling hold, but hangs on and pulls him back to his feet. Chaos immediately tries to pull Stein towards the ropes and succeeds in doing so. Chaos grabs the top rope with his arms and as Stein goes to pull Chaos off, he loses his grip! Stein stumbles backwards, but uses the momentum to rebound off the opposite ropes. He runs full force at Chaos who slips down and pulls the top rope down. Stein tumbles to the outside!
Eryk Masters: So far, Chaos seems to be one step quicker than ol’ Stein out there.
Other Guy: That’s pretty impressive, considering Chaos is dressed like Molly..
Stein gets up, shakes the cobwebs out, and looks up at Chaos, who is smiling in the ring. Chaos holds his hand to his ear, and the crowd gives a nice pop for that, frustrating Stein, who rolls back into the ring. They lock up. Stein takes the advantage again and instead of going straight wrestling, he pulls Chaos into a headlock and delivers a hard thumb to the eye. The crowd boos, and Chaos stumbles away from Stein, far enough for Stein to hit a lariat, flattening the challenger.
Other Guy: Stein isn’t going to just get juked like that every time. Good move by him.
Eryk Masters: I still can’t get over the skidmark on Chaos’ ring shorts, man. That’s gross.
Other Guy: It’s like his butt peed.
Eryk Masters: I hate you.
Stein goes for a cover, but Chaos kicks out after a one count. Stein gets to his feet, building confidence, and pulls Chaos’ fake wig hair to get him up off the mat. Heflin goes to admonish Stein, but Stein yells “IT’S A WIG, DUDE,” embarrassing the official. Stein first pulls the wig off of Chaos’ head and then pulls Chaos up and drops him with a vertical suplex. He then floats over and covers him again.
Chaos kicks out once more. Stein and Chaos get to their feet at relatively close to the same time. Stein lands a nice right hand and then rakes the back of Chaos, who lurches forward and into the ring ropes. Stein rolls Chaos up with a quick schoolboy roll-up, and with a handful of tights, he goes for a cover.
Eryk Masters: Stein not afraid to grab a handful of tights, which is actually kind of gross if you think about it.
Other Guy: Yeah I wouldn’t have touched those, and you can see that Molly on the outside here isn’t at all happy with how Stein is conducting himself thus far.
Eryk Masters: The real question is, does she carry hand sanitizer or is she just perturbed at the creative use of ring mechanics?
Chaos gets to his feet, as does Stein. Chaos takes the role of the aggressor and throws a few chops into Steins chest. He gets Stein into the corner, to the delight of the crowd, and nails him with a LOUD knife edge chop. The crowd goes “Ooooh!” but then those “Oooh’s” turn into “Ewww’s” as Chaos kisses Dan Stein’s chest. He then nods approval, clearly having made the chest ‘better’…. And then he chops it again.
Eryk Masters: Is he going to do that…
And then he kisses his chest again, and nods once more in approval.
Other Guy: The best part about this is that Dan Stein is clearly incensed, but he’s in a lot of pain so he can’t do a whole lot about it just yet.
Chaos finishes things off with one last chop and one last kiss as he lets Stein recover slightly. Without any warning whatsoever, Chaos runs back and then flies ass first into Stein, causing Stein to take a seat in the corner. Then, for no reason at all, decides to put his toes into Stein’s mouth. Stein convulses violently in the corner, spitting and slobbering. He then rolls out of the ring and is immediately attended to by his bodyguards. A fan is laughing loudly at him. Stein starts to jaw with the fan, as the bodyguards are trying to get him to focus up.
Eryk Masters: Could be a mistake here, Stein. Taking time to talk to the fans like that.
Other Guy: I think you might be right, here comes Chaos!
Chaos rebounds off of the ropes and then flies out of the ring with a splash, nailing Toni, Tina, and most importantly, the Sin City Champion, Dan Stein! The crowd pops loud! Dennis Heflin begins the count, but Chaos gets up, pulls Stein to his feet, and rolls him into the ring. Chaos covers him.
Stein kicks out!
The crowd boos, but Chaos ignores them. He spots the red wig and quickly goes over to pick it up. He retrieves it and places it on his head. He adjusts it and is satisfied with its appearance. Stein starts to get back to his feet, but Chaos meets him on the way up with a hard kick to the head. Stein flattens out and Chaos covers.
Stein reaches the rope and Heflin calls for the break.
Other Guy: Nice ring savvy Stein.
Eryk Masters: Tough move by Chaos, too. Seems like the boot hit harder since he has the wig on.
Other Guy: …really.
Eryk Masters: What?
Chaos is delighted with himself and the crowd is enjoying his work. He gets Stein to his feet and wraps him into a hammerlock. He pushes the Sin City Champion back into the corner, looks out to the crowd, and does a quick eyebrow raise, Groucho Marx style. Stein sees this and shoves Chaos away. He rakes Chaos across the eyes, and as Chaos clutches his face, Stein goes for another schoolboy roll-up. He puts his feet on the ropes for a little leverage, and Dennis Heflin goes down for the count, unknowingly.
Eryk Masters: Dan Stein nearly robbed Chaos there. Almost got away with it, too.
Other Guy: Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades though, buddy.
Stein is frustrated as he mulls over what to do next. Chaos gets to his knees and starts to get to his feet. Stein goes to meet him, but Chaos rolls out of the way. Chaos gets to his feet, Stein turns around. Chaos scoops him up, but Stein flips behind him. Chaos turns around, Stein boots him in the gut. #TWITTERBATION!!! Stein covers!
Samantha Coil: Your winner, at a time of eleven minutes and twenty seconds… AND STILL SHOOT PROJECT SIN CITY CHAMPION… DAN STEIN!
“The Touch” takes over for Samantha Coil as Toni, Tina, and Molly take to the ring to present their champion with his title belt. He goes to his knees, clutching the gold belt as we go to Other Guy and Eryk Masters.
Eryk Masters: Solid win for Dan Stein, and I still don’t know quite yet what to make of Chaos.
Other Guy: He’s a gamer, though. He had Dan Stein thrown for a loop throughout that match. It just wasn’t quite enough. Dan Stein knows how to play the game.
The cameras cut backstage, where we see Eli Storm leaning against a wall, waiting. Storm is wearing a very old school “Matthew Kanyon/Dan Stein : Perfect Losers” tag team shirt. Storm waves the camera over with a teasing smile.
Storm: The perfect loser…the golden boy…the lights…so many names. You see Dan, you have the people fooled. You walk around here with an air of importance. But we both know you aren’t as important as you seem. We both know this is an image, Dan. An image that I was happy to allow you to keep…until you stole my day from me. Until you took my fucking moment!!!.
Storm pauses to calm himself down.
Storm: You crept in at the last minute and took what I worked hard for, Stein and that doesn’t sit well with me. You see, I was supposed to finally make it…TO GET WHAT WAS MINE!!! You took that from me…you placed your grubby hands on my destiny and took it away.
Storm grins at the camera.
Storm: Now it is only right that I return the favor, Dan. It is only right…
Ta-Ta for now…
Eli turns away from the camera and begins walking the hallway, whistling as the scene fades to black.
“Carry On My Wayward Son” by Blue Oyster Cult starts to play overhead, and a large continent of the Epicenter starts to cheer, while there’s another portion of the fans that give Trey a bit of a mixed reaction.
Trey emerges from the back, his face all business, striding directly down to the ring without paying any attention to the fans.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, weighing in at 220lbs…he hails from STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK…THE WAYWARD SON…TREY WILLETT!!!!
Other Guy: This should be good, E. I’m really interested in seeing these two lock horns again…they’ve had some memorable battles in the past.
Eryk Masters: Trey seems to have gone through some changes during SHOOT’s vacation too, OG. His attitude in particular has changed. It’s almost like he’s become jaded with the business.
Other Guy: Can’t argue that. Trey has made it clear in his promotional work this week that he has faith in one thing and one thing only right now…and that’s himself.
Trey slides into the ring, starting to loosen up his wrists while glaring at the stage to await his opponent.
Isaac Entragian emerges from the curtains.
There is no theme song.
There is no pyro.
There is just Isaac, looking absolutely awful. Exhausted, hung over, sickly. He starts to slowly shamble down the ramp, his head lowered, dirty white hair hanging on his face.
Samantha Coil: And his opponent…(Samantha pauses, almost stammering on her words when she sees Isaac’s condition) he uhh…he weighs in at 320lbs…he is…*ahem*….Isaac Entragian…
The only sound that heralds Isaac’s arrival is the loud, boisterous booing of the SHOOT Project faithful.
Other Guy: My god…
Eryk Masters: How the mighty have fallen, OG…
A fan hurls of a large cup of soda across the ramp, and it hits Isaac squarely across the side of his face. The dark liquid spills down his cheek, starting to drip through his unkempt beard. Isaac doesn’t react to this at all, he just keeps shambling…like some poorly made Frankenstein monster.
Other Guy: I barely recognize this man. He looks like death warmed over…
Eryk Masters: Entragian has not been the same since SHOOT Project reopened, OG. This guy is just….broken. He’s like an empty box and everything has just been taken out of it. The strength, the willpower, the ferocity…nothing remains.
Isaac doesn’t step over the top rope like usual. Instead he laboriously climbs up onto the apron, sort of falling through the ropes before using one of the turnbuckles to gain his footing. He stares at Trey with sunken, hollow eyes…seeming almost not even to see Trey.
Trey himself actually looks even slightly surprised at how…DIFFERENT Isaac looks.
Other Guy: Can Entragian even compete right now? He looks like he’s half-starved and hasn’t slept in ages…it almost looks like he’s struggling just to stand upright.
Eryk Masters: I never thought I’d use this word to describe a black-hearted fiend like Isaac Entragian…but this is just sad. Literally sad…
Entragian stands there, swaying just a little, soda still dripping down through one side of his beard. The referee asks Isaac if he’s ready to go…and he’s met with an almost imperceptible nod of the albino’s head.
The referee turns to Trey, and Trey just makes a motion with his hands like “get on with it.”
Trey Willett runs forward and just BURIES a knee in Isaac’s gut. Isaac crumples like a sack of leaves…and Trey is a little shocked at how fast Isaac drops. He quickly regains his composure and starts to RAIN down stomps on Entragian’s frame, his wrestling boots slamming down against torso, limbs, whatever he can find.
Eryk Masters: The bell has barely rung…and Isaac is already down.
Other Guy: Trey is relentless too, E. I don’t think Trey cares what’s going on with Entragian, and I can’t blame him there. Trey is out to prove that he’s still the World Champion-caliber athlete that he’s always been.
Eryk Masters: He’s definitely made it clear that he’s looking out for #1 these days.
Trey pulls Isaac up to his feet, and he irish whips the big man into the ropes…and on the rebound Trey nearly DECAPITATES Isaac with a jumping leg lariat! Isaac falls flat on his back, and Trey attempts a pinfall.
Other Guy: Isaac BARELY kicks out…that was almost a three count!
Eryk Masters: I’m used to seeing Isaac as this dominating destroyer…so it’s so strange for me to see him like this.
Other Guy: Something is definitely missing within Entragian; E…there’s no doubting that.
Trey goes about bulling Isaac back up to his feet, but the albino gets his first bit of offense in of the night…taking Trey down with a sloppy clothesline. Trey stumbles back up to his feet, and Isaac backs him in the corner, throwing fists, some connecting, some going wild…none of them the hard-hitting, well-aimed strikes that Entragian is known for.
A few find their mark regardless, and Trey slumps backwards against the buckles.
Other Guy: Finally Isaac gets some offense in…but it’s sloppy, it’s half-hearted…it’s like seeing a corpse try to fight.
Isaac grabs Trey by the back of the head and just sort of half-tosses him across the ring, performing a very awkward looking slam that sends Trey down hard across the canvas. Isaac attempts a cover, but he pretty much just lets his knees unlock and allows his weight to fall on top of Trey, all 320lbs of it seeming especially dead and heavy.
Trey gets a strong shoulder up at two, and he uses all of his strength to push Isaac’s dead weight off of him.
Trey is quick to get back to his feet while Isaac is sluggishly rising up to his knees…and the Wayward Son hits the ropes and PLOWS into the side of Isaac’s face with a front dropkick!
Isaac is sent SPRAWLING!
Trey immediately drops down and grapevines both of his legs around Isaac’s throat, locking in a tight chokehold and FORCING the air right out of Isaac’s lungs!
Other Guy: Well one thing is clear tonight…Trey Willett hasn’t lost a step since the vacation. If anything…his fire seems REIGNITED…while Isaac’s seems just…burnt out.
Eryk Masters: And it looks like Isaac is in danger of being choked out if he can’t find a way to counter this submission attempt!
Isaac struggles, taking little sips of air through his mouth, his hands clawing weakly against the hard muscles of Trey’s legs. Isaac finally manages to wiggle and squirm his way close enough to the ropes to get his ankle up on the bottom rope…and this forces the break.
Trey is reluctant to let go, making sure to get as much out of the hold as possible before breaking JUST before being disqualified.
Eryk Masters: Isaac’s height saved him there…a shorter man wouldn’t have been able to get a leg up on those ropes. It was a narrow escape…
Other Guy: Trey seeming to take some pleasure in the punishment too. That’s not something I’m used to seeing from Trey Willett…
Trey rudely brings Isaac up to his knees by the hair, yelling something down at the albino…something that sounds like “BEAR WITNESS”…and Isaac desperately clasps his hands together and HAMMERS a double axe handle into the side of Trey’s knee, dropping him to the canvas.
Trey actually grimaces in pain from this, seeming to finally be in a bit of danger for the first time in the entire match.
Other Guy: Pure desperation from Entragian…but that blow hit hard…and Trey is hurting right now.
Eryk Masters: This is the opening Isaac has needed since the bell rang…but in the state that he’s in, does he even have the willpower to capitalize?
Isaac drags himself back up to his feet, and he hits the ropes, slowly running forward before jumping up and BODY SPLASHING Trey with all of his weight!
The breath leaves Trey’s body in one anguished blast of oxygen, and Isaac pulls back on a leg with both of his hands.
Eryk Masters: Once more, only a two count. That seems to be all Isaac can put Trey down for tonight.
Other Guy: Trey’s resiliency has always been a major strength of his…that much hasn’t changed.
Trey rolls free, disentangling himself from the broken monster…and he uses the ropes to gain his vertical base. Isaac slowly finds his footing as well, but not for long, because he’s met by a LEAPING forearm to the face that knocks him back into the ropes!
Isaac is reeling, and as he slumps downward into the ropes his arms actually get tied up, leaving him defenseless.
Trey Willett…takes a moment to smile at his good luck.
Trey then moves forward…and he just starts to PISTON toe-kicks into Isaac’s sternum, one after another, the referee admonishing Trey and asking him to step back.
Trey reluctantly takes a step back, but he doesn’t last…because once again he LEAPS forward and just begins to tee off on Isaac’s head with right hands, the knuckles blasting down against Isaac’s face over and over again!
The fists cause Isaac’s arms to go limp, and he finally slinks free of the ropes and down to the canvas…and Trey just grits his teeth and grabs one of Isaac’s legs, proceeding to DRAG him a few feet towards the center of the ring.
Trey then drops down for another cover, digging his forearm into Isaac’s face.
Eryk Masters: Trey is just…breaking bad here tonight. He’s barely following the rules; he was dangerously close to getting disqualified there.
Other Guy: And yet again…Trey was seconds away from putting Isaac away.
Trey seems almost to growl in frustration, and he gets up and goes to stand in one turnbuckle…looking like he’s setting up for some running velocity move to take Isaac’s head off.
Isaac very slowly uses the ropes to pull himself back up…and Trey uncoils and runs forward…but Isaac leaps up and SMASHES a boot into his face with a bicycle kick!
The bicycle kick doesn’t have nearly the same amount of force behind it that Isaac usually unleashes, and he falls back to the canvas himself after connecting…but it does drop Trey to the canvas and stun him.
Eryk Masters: Isaac scored with Mark of the Beast…didn’t have much steam behind it and looked like Isaac barely pulled it off, but at least Trey is down.
Other Guy: Isaac needs to figure out how to end this thing quickly…he’s just barely able to put up any kind of offense tonight and it’s definitely showing.
Isaac crawls over for the cover, barely managing to drape an arm across Trey’s chest.
Isaac gets up, and he attempts to pull Trey up with him, but The Wayward Son falls backwards with both knees extended, hitting Isaac HARD in the jaw with a modified jawbreaker.
Isaac flails backwards and falls to the canvas, and Trey immediately starts to climb the buckles.
Trey sets his feet, turning to look back at Isaac laid out for a moment…and then he FLIES INTO A 450 SPLASH ROTATION!!
But Isaac manages to get up to one knee, and finally to his feet…and HE JUST BARELY CATCHES TREY IN MIDAIR!!
Isaac staggers backwards, almost losing his grip on Trey…but finally he manages to DROP him throat first across the top rope!
Trey flies backwards while gagging, rolling against the canvas…and Isaac himself just drops down too from exhaustion, his breathing slow and labored.
Eryk Masters: BOTH MEN DOWN! This is a turning point in this match…
Other Guy: Trey attempted that Trey50 Splash…didn’t quite connect…and Isaac somehow managed to drop him across the ropes.
Eryk Masters: Looks like that effort took just as much out of Isaac as it did Trey…
Isaac is attempting to rise to his feet, using the ropes to pull and haul his weight back up to a stumbling vertical base…and Trey is getting up as well while rubbing a hand across his aching throat.
Isaac makes a move to grab Trey….but Trey PISTONS a boot into Isaac’s stomach, doubling him over.
Trey then locks up Isaac’s big arms…AND PLOWS HIM INTO THE CANVAS WITH A PEDIGREE!!!
Eryk Masters: WHOA! DAWN OF A NEW ERA OUT OF NOWHERE!!
Other Guy: Isaac is DOWN and OUT.
Trey immediately falls into a cover.
Samantha Coil: Here is your winner…THE WAYWARD SON….TREY WILLETT!!!
Other Guy: BIG win for Trey here tonight, E. Talk about a good way to load up on some momentum heading into Master of the Mat.
Eryk Masters: Trey definitely impressed. But Isaac…just seemed so disconnected from everything. This was one of the poorest showings we’ve ever seen from him.
Other Guy: Definitely not a performance befitting The Ivory Terror. There was no sign of the monster tonight….just this lost, broken thing that the monster has become.
Trey raises his arms in triumph before sliding out of the ring and heading up the ramp, the crowd giving him a mostly favorable reaction.
Isaac slowly rises up from the canvas after the bell rings, his tangled white hair slicked down across his face with sweat. If he feels anything about how this match played out, it doesn’t show. His face conveys the total absence of emotion…just a slab of expressionless meat.
One hand reaches up for the middle rope, and he pulls himself back up to his knees. He breathes deeply through his nostrils, his eyes closing for a moment.
When he opens his eyes again…
Something draws them to the Epicenter stage.
As Entragian looks to the EpiTron, the lights go dark. A lone purple flame creeps onto the screen. It starts small and then it begins to grow. It’s surrounded by a set of silver rings, and as soon as you’ve made that image out, you hear the sound of an airplane fly over. Then, strings and percussion kick in.
Other Guy: I think I know who this is…
Eryk Masters: I think the WORLD knows who this is.
“War Is My Destiny” by lll Beat feat. Immortal Technique TEARS through the Epicenter, dark purple strobe lights starting to blaze down from the head of the ramp.
"They killed my entire family, murdered and tortured, raped and pillaged
I was only five and I was the only surviving witness
My entire village burned to the ground
He wore a serpent in his crown."
ADRIAN CORAZON emerges onto the Revolution stage and the Epicenter ERUPTS.
Other Guy: Yeah, I’d say you’re right, E. I THINK THE WORLD KNOWS WHO THIS MAN IS.
Eryk Masters: This will… this will be interesting.
"I watched the palaces burn
I’ve seen the ashes of my comrades return to they family in a urn
While a proud child remembers his father that died
The cycle continues with vengeance alive in his mind"
Corazon continues to stand at the top of the ramp. He has a microphone in his hand and finally, he begins his walk down. The music fades…
Corazon: Abaddon… The Pale Rider… the Ivory Terror… and yet, what I see here in this ring… this ring right in front of me, just a few scant feet away… what I see in this ring resembles none of those symbols.
His walk continues very slowly.
Corazon: I see a man who is just a man. A man who’s been defeated by his own evil. The same man who burned this scar into my back… the same man who watched me limp down to this ring in PURE DEFIANCE… the man who would have ripped my heart out and eaten it in the very ring that he sits in right now… but the man I see right now and the man that I remember…
They don’t look anything alike.
He’s closer now, about half way down the ramp.
Other Guy: Are we FINALLY going to see Corazon murk this fool?
Eryk Masters: OG, I have to tell you, I don’t know… if this were six months ago, then yeah… but a lot happens in six months, and Corazon, I feel like if he really wanted to get in there and put Isaac Entragian down, he would have rushed the ring.
Corazon: I’m having a bit of a dilemma, Isaac. There’s a very substantial part of me that really wants to get into that ring and finish the job. I already know in advance that ultimately? Ultimately it makes no difference what I do to you. You’re a walking shell. An empty husk of human who simply exists.
He doesn’t live.
He stops. He’s reached the end of the ramp but is not making any further move.
Corazon: And then there’s this other part of me that is really, REALLY trying to move on. I announced earlier this evening that I was going to join the Master of the Mat tournament. I announced that I plan to be the last man standing at the end of that road, and while I would really, really love to focus on that…
…I’ve been presented with the opportunity that I have in front of me.
Corazon: So you see my dilemma. And I think… I think what I’m going to do is get into this ring, put you out of your misery, and then decide if I feel guilty or not.
The crowd half pops and half stays quiet.
Corazon: Yeah, I think that’s what I’ll do.
He drops the mic, and then– the crowd reaction stuns Corazon and Isaac for a brief moment, overwhelming cheers rain down as Maya sprints full speed down the ramp, so frantic that there was no time for entrance music, flashy lights, or pyros. Maya jumps in front of Corazon, completely blocking off his entrance to the ring. They exchange inaudible words for a moment before Maya picks up the microphone Corazon dropped.
Maya: This has to stop, you can’t keep going on like this. You said it yourself, you’re really trying to move on with your life and put the scarred past behind you, so move on. Just walk away, look at him…
Maya turns his head to look at Isaac in the ring.
Maya: Is it really worth it, Corazon?
Corazon smirks and then rips the microphone out of Maya’s hand and considers shoving him into the ring. The crowd boos at the gesture, but Corazon is obviously frustrated.
Corazon: I don’t know the answer to that question, Maya. I don’t know if it’s worth it or not. Didn’t you hear me?! I was going to find out. Feel guilty about it later. Maybe you’re right. Maybe it’s not the right thing to do.
He sneers, looking over Maya and staring directly at Isaac Entragian.
Corazon: He’s weak. He’s pathetic. He is… I don’t even know what he is. But you…
He laughs, shifting his gaze to the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion.
Corazon: You’ve intervened this time, Maya. He owes you a huge debt. I hope you know what you’re doing and I hope that you’re able to continue to shepherd that beast. You’ve helped me, in a way. My focus shouldn’t be on him. My focus should be on the Master of the Mat tournament, the World Heavyweight Championship… and you.
With that, he slams the microphone into Maya’s chest and begins to walk backwards up the ramp.
Maya doesn’t move an inch from his spot in front of the ring.
Maya: This time? No, every time I will intervene. As far as I’m concerned, you aren’t going to touch the man in that ring. You want to fight me for the SHOOT Project World Title, I’ll fight you anytime, Master of the Mat or not. That’s a noble reason to fight, a real reason to fight. But this…? You want to massacre him because he hurt you? And how long does that cycle continue, Adrian? You try to end him now, you aren’t going to kill him, and he’ll come back and this cycle of blood never ends. You want to know if you’d feel guilty about it, I’ve got your answer right here.
Maya’s eyebrows furrow downward, resolute and unafraid.
Maya: You’re never going to find out. This, between you two, ends tonight. You mentioned that Isaac owes me a debt. Well, guess what, he’s not the only one that is owed a debt. YOU owe me a severe debt that I was more than willing to look past and move forward from. But now… now I’m cashing out. You, Adrian, kidnapped me for half of a year when you were at your worst. You want to talk about revenge and needing to feel guilty? You feel guilty about that, about what YOU did to me in your past, which is NO BETTER than Isaac’s and you repay YOUR debt to me by leaving Isaac… FOREVER… and moving forward.
Maya takes a few steps up the ramp to make sure he has Corazon’s undivided attention.
Maya: Do I make myself clear?
Corazon, up the ramp, calls for a microphone from the back. A stage hand quickly runs out and brings it to him.
Corazon: The stress you’re going through frays you, Maya. Mephisto gets to you. Fortunately, for now, I think you might be right. Isaac Entragian is no longer my goal and my focus, and I do owe you a debt. A debt that, from this point, is now repaid.
Corazon: Protect your husk. Guard it with your life. You won’t have to worry about this again. I’ll see you when I become the Master of the Mat.
Maya slides back into the ring, to check on Isaac slumped over in the corner. He puts a hand on Isaac’s shoulder, the microphone close enough to pick up Maya asking Isaac if he’s alright.
During this entire exchange, Isaac Entragian has remained on his knees near the ropes. His eyes have remained closed, his arms stretched slightly outward from his body. He has made no attempt to gain a defensive stance…instead he seems almost to have OPENED himself to Corazon’s wrath.
He whispers slowly to himself “do what you have to do” and “finish it” over and over again, the phrases repeated and becoming a running chant across his forked tongue.
It isn’t until Corazon leaves through the curtains and Maya attempts to help Isaac to his feet…that he realizes he will not be meeting his end tonight at the rightful hands of the Baddest Man Alive.
Isaac’s eyes open…and they light upon Maya.
There is bitter sorrow in those eyes, but beneath it is wave of confused anger broiling up to the surface.
Entragian: What…have you done?
Maya tries again to pull Isaac to his feet…but the broken monster rises himself, and he VIOLENTLY shoves Maya down to the canvas in the process. The microphone rolls out of Maya’s hand…and Isaac scrapes it up with a pallid claw.
Entragian: He was going…to finish it. He was SUPPPOSED TO FINISH IT!
Isaac ROARS down at Maya, spit flying from his razor sharp teeth. He digs a hand through his messy white hair, the turmoil growing and growing in his expression.
Isaac pauses, backing up for a moment…and then he runs forward and KICKS Maya in the ribs as hard as he possibly can, knocking the smaller Soldier backwards across the canvas!
Maya rolls to a stop, coughing and sputtering for breath, and Isaac advances once more, leaning down to stare at him.
Entragian: I didn’t NEED your help. You are WASTING YOUR TIME.
The frustration bleeds over into Isaac’s voice, and he sends yet ANOTHER kick into Maya’s ribs.
He looks almost like he regrets doing this, but another part of him has just succumbed to that old familiar anger.
Isaac drops down to one knee next to Maya, and he grabs Maya by the hair and forces the World Champion to look up at him.
Isaac’s eyes are the eyes of a dying, tormented animal that desperately wants to be put out of its misery.
Entragian: Don’t you GET IT? I…wanted this. I NEEDED this…
Isaac rears back one heavy, pallid fist. He pauses…the fist hanging above Maya’s face. Isaac’s expression contorts with conflict, anger and regret blending together.
He seems to rethink hitting Maya…but finally he just brings that fist down and CRUSHES it into the World Champion’s face, knocking him backwards against the canvas. Isaac rises to a shaky vertical base, his breathing labored and heavy.
The next words from his mouth are quiet, hollow.
Entragian: I…am not worth saving.
White hair hangs about Isaac’s face, his chest heaving.
Entragian: Stay away from me, Maya. Stay the fuck out of my life…
The microphone slips from Isaac’s fingers and lands next to Maya’s head.
Entragian exits the ring, his face concealed by a veil of white hair. He stalks up the ramp slowly, the fans booing him all the way, until he vanishes behind the curtains.
We cut on the World Champion starting to stir in the middle of the ring.
Dutch Harris:: I’m here with ‘The Bulldog" Shawn O’Reilly. Shawn welcome to The SHOOT Project. And congratulations on a fine performance and victory.
Shawn O’Reilly: Well, thank you, Dutch. Wait a minute. Do you hear that?
Dutch Harris:I don’t hear anything.
Shawn O’Reilly:Exactly. That silence is the critics. The ones that said I couldn’t make it to, much less in The SHOOT Project. The ones that said I was too old and broken down to beat a young buck like Ryan Shane.
You know what’s funny. Most of the critics have never laced up a pair of boots and stepped into the squared circle. They don’t truly know the elation that comes with victory and the bitter pill that comes with defeat. They know because they WATCH. We, The SHOOT Project wrestlers, know because we DO.
It’s easier for them to say it can’t be done than to put in the work…the blood, the sweat, and the tears necessary to get it done.
Dutch, I’ve been getting it done for twenty-five years.
Now, these critics will point out the fact that this is just my first match here.
Right, I just got here. But, now that I’m here it’s go big or go home. Ad I’m definitely goin BIG.
Right here,right now, I’m throwin my hat in the ring for the Master of the Mat Tournament.
Dutch, a lot of the critics will say that a forty-three year old man beating the best in the world to become the number one contender to the World Title is crazy.
That’s ok. Crazy has been used to describe me a time or two throughout my career.
They also called Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Bill Gates crazy, so that puts me in some pretty good company.
So here I am, on my first night in the company, jumping into the deep end of the pool. Thirty-one o the best wrestlers in the world and me…a forty three year old "washed-up" shellof a man.
I’d be crazy to go into this thinking that I stand a chance of winning.
Well, Dutch, I think it’s time that crazy has its day.
An old fashioned, black and white film countdown covers the VideoWall, drawing cheers from the vast majority of the crowd.
~I SAID HALLELUJAH~
"Battleflag" cues up, and Corey Lazarus stomps out from behind the curtain with the hood of his entrance jacket already down. He throws a wild right punch and uses the momentum to turn, his back to the ring, and raises his arms up above his head, pointing up to the rafters before turning once more, pointing all around the Epicenter and dropping to a knee with an exaggerated stage bow.
Eryk Masters: The Hollywood Kid, live and in person.
Other Guy: It could be exit, stage left if he and his partner aren’t on the same page tonight.
Corey jumps to his feet and runs halfway down the ramp, slowing down to a jog before stopping at its end.
Eryk Masters: This is definitely a right definition of the term “strange bedfellows”.
Lazarus rests his hands on his hips and hesitates, almost turning back up the ramp, but then leaps onto the apron and slingshots himself over, landing in a crouch with another exaggerated stage bow.
Other Guy: Yeah, I can do that, too. I just don’t want to.
Eryk Masters: You sure can, buddy.
"Battleflag" dies down as Lazarus jumps up to his feet, throwing his entrance jacket off in one motion before carrying it over to the corner, handing it to a ringside attendant.
Yeah, I get it
You’re an outcast
Always under attack
Always coming in last
Bringing up the past
No one owes you anything
You need a shotgun blast
A kick in the ass
WATCH YOUR BACK
The crowd roars once again as “The Sound of Madness” continues to play, and out comes the now former Rule of Surrender champion, Lunatikk Cripper!
Eryk Masters: Crippler all business tonight. He’s certainly got a lot to prove to himself.
Other Guy: Yeah, after he boned his way out of retaining the Rule of Surrender title two weeks ago, he needs to prove that his title win wasn’t a fluke. I’m not so convinced.
Crippler discards his vest as he marches down the ramp. His eyes currently lay upon the man in the ring, his partner, Corey Lazarus.
Eryk Masters: You think there’s a bit of mistrust going here on Crippler’s part?
Other Guy: Naw, E, he wants to go in there and give him a huge hug, and just CAN’T WAIT. Of COURSE there’s mistrust! Last time these two were in the ring together, it was Genesis Corp vs Crippler Kings!
Crippler slides into the ring, walking straight up to Lazarus. Laz playfully goes for a high five, which Crippler ignores.
Other Guy: TCH. Rude.
Eryk Masters: Forget the same page. These two at least need to be in the same BOOK to take on the World Tag Team Champions here tonight!
Shinedown’s song quiets down, and Crippler turns toward the entrance ramp, making sure to keep Lazarus beside him.
Eryk Masters: And here come SHOOT’s Tag Team champions…
Other Guy: Complete with NEW Entrance music. Lets hear what won their poll!!
Drums and staccato synth before we hear Katy Perry’s voice.
"Now I’m floating like a butterfly
Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes
I went from zero, to my own hero"
The tron flashes to life with a red circle an "A" slashed through it the symbol of Anarchy a stark contrast to the bubble gum pop rocking the Epicenter.
"You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now"
T.Rex and Arch Angel step out from the back onto the ramp as the crowd roars. Each man in black loose fitting jeans, red boots, and a skin tight white singlet with the same symbol that is pulsating on the Tron. The two stand there give one another a confident nod and fist bump before heading down the ramp to the ring.
"I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar"
Both men slide under the bottom rope. Each heading to an opposite corner and hoisting their championship belts. The flashbulbs popping. The music fades away as Samantha Coil stands in the middle of the ring. The lights drop out and a single spotlight shines down on Coil.
Samantha Coil: The following contest is scheduled for ONE fall, and is for the SHOOT PROJECT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS. Introducing FIRST… the challengers,
She motions first towards Crippler.
Samantha Coil: Currently living in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Other Guy: Always annoys me.
Eryk Masters: SHH.
Samantha Coil: Weighing in at two hundred and thirty-eight pounds….He is the SUBMISSION SPECIALIST…..
Crippler raises his fists in the air, and the crowd cheers him on.
Samantha Coil: Luuuuuunatikk…..CRIIIIIIIPPLERRRRRRR!
Crippler turns in all four directions, facing each side of the Epicenter. He lowers his arms, and his partner playfully claps him on the back before stepping forward.
Samantha Coil: And his partner, weighing in tonight at 240 pounds and standing at 6-foot-1…
Lazarus shakes his arms out, loosening up a bit.
Samantha Coil: …hailing from Hollywood, California, he is "The Premier Attraction"…
Laz drops to a knee, pointing two fingers up in the air, head bowed.
Samantha Coil: …CORREEYYYYY LAAAAZZZAAAAARRRRUUUSSSSSS!!!!!
Lazarus is sure to give one more exaggerated bow, complete with a flashing of his TRADEMARK DEVILISH GRIN, as the crowd gives him the accolades he deserves.
Samantha Coil: And their opponents! Weighing in at a combined six hundred ninety pounds. Fighting out of Las Vegas by way of Seaside Heights New Jersey. They are the reigning and defending SHOOT Project Tag Team Champions. Sin City’s Official Tag Team… ANARCHY!!!!
The crowd answers back with an "ANARCHY!" of their own. The four men stare each other down, referee Tony Lorenzo giving some final instructions as the lights come up.
Eryk Masters: We looked it up and Anarchy’s combined weight a year ago was nearly sixty pounds less. You wonder what effect that and the ramped up training will have on them here tonight?
Other Guy: If it don’t work, Hollywood Hardcore are taking the tag titles tonight.
Eryk Masters: That their official name?
Other Guy: Don’t know. Better go copyright that real quick.
The bell rings, and the match is underway. Rex and Angel play a quick game of Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine who will start things.
Eryk Masters: And T. Rex’s Rock destroys Arch Angel’s Scissors. Angel’s gonna start this one off.
Laz looks to Crippler and motions for the same thing. Crippler just stares pointedly at his partner. Corey grins and nods, and steps onto the apron.
Other Guy: And Crippler’s deadly stare defeats Lazarus’ sense of fun. What’s up with this guy? Not in the mood for games?
Eryk Masters: Three years ago, he would noogie, Indian Burn, and Purple Nurple his foes in the center of the ring. Today, the fun and games are at an end. The gold is on the line!
Crippler and Angel circle each other for a moment before locking up. Angel QUICKLY overpowers Crippler, sending him rolling backwards! Crippler is quickly to his feet, staring daggers at his opponent.
Other Guy: Crippler has quite a bit of power in his own right, but he was just taken off guard by Arch Angel!
They circle again, but this time, Crippler is more prepared. He executes a flawless go behind, hooking Angel’s arm in a wristlock. Angel winces, but quickly counters the wristlock! Crippler, however, COUNTERS the COUNTER, wringing the arm of Arch Angel in a manner it was not meant to be. Angel grabs the head of Crippler and pushes him into the ropes. Crippler releases the hold and escapes, running into the ropes opposite. He crashes into Arch Angel on the rebound….and flies backward with the impact!
Eryk Masters: This time, the Immovable Object is victorious. Better luck next time, Irresistible Force!
Crippler curses himself as he gets to his feet. He goes to his corner and reaches out to tag Lazarus. Corey playfully gestures “Who, Me?” Crippler is not amused, and reaches out as if to smack his partner, but Laz makes the tag and enters the fray. Crippler shakes his head and hits the apron.
Eryk Masters: Seems like Lazarus is all for getting along, and Crippler is the one holding back here.
Other Guy: He needs to get his attitude in check. Arch Angel just overpowered him twice.
Laz claps in rhythm, and the fans start clapping along. Laz sticks out his fist to Angel, who quickly bumps it. They go to tie up, but Lazarus uses his superior speed to go behind Angel and takes him down by sweeping his legs out from under him! Corey floats over into a front facelock, but it doesn’t last for long as Angel is able to get to his feet. He shoves Lazarus off and Corey hits the ropes. He ducks an Arch Angel clothesline, and stops in his tracks to turn and deliver a dropkick that staggers the near seven footer! Angel backs up in his tracks, trying to keep his balance! Lazarus gets a running start and fires a second dropkick, knocking Angel back even further! Lunatikk Crippler enters the ring, and slaps Lazarus on the back. They look at each other and nod, and BOTH MEN run the ropes and nail stereo dropkicks, and Arch Angel FALLS! Their celebration is short lived, however, as they turn and eat a DOUBLE LARIAT FROM T. REX! The crowd roars as Crippler and Laz go down in a heap and Rex bellows out to the crowd, who yells right back at him!
Eryk Masters: You turn your back on one, the other is going to swallow you whole!
Other Guy: That was a fat joke! I’M TELLING!
Eryk Masters: Wait! No!
Crippler rolls out of the ring and Tony Lorenzo guides Rex back to his corner. Angel rolls to his corner and legally tags in his partner! T. Rex walks up to Lazarus and drops a big elbow! But he misses! He gets up quickly, but Laz already rolled to his corner, tagging Crippler back in! Crippler springboards into the ring, connecting with a clothesline that sends Rex to the mat! Rex huffs as he gets to his feet, but Crippler hurries back to his corner, tagging Lazarus back in! Crippler grasps the top rope, and slingshots Lazarus overhead, and Corey connects with Rex as he gets back to his feet with a straight kick to the face! Lazarus quickly covers!
Rex powers out! Laz tags Crippler back in, and Crippler hurries back into the ring. He runs the ropes as Rex gets back to his feet and rushes right past the big man! Rex turns around, but too slow, and gets impaled with a huge Blood Drive spear!
Eryk Masters: After a bit of time, Crippler and Lazarus are FINALLY working as a team! T. Rex is in trouble!
Crippler hooks the leg!
Rex powers out, lifting Crippler up off the ground! Crippler doesn’t miss a step, as he runs the ropes again! He rebounds, but gets caught with a standing avalanche by Rex, almost like a Thesz Press! Crippler hits the mat HARD and Rex takes a moment to get his bearings.
Eryk Masters: Rex is being run ragged already! Crippler and Lazarus are LITERALLY running circles around him!
Other Guy: The stamina of the challengers is already becoming a factor here. ANARCHY needs to show that they are gonna be able to keep up!
Rex moves towards his corner, reaching for the tag, but Crippler quickly snares the knee of T. Rex, bringing him down and hooking a sloppy kneebar! Rex uses his free foot to kick out of it, planting a boot right to the chest of Crippler! Crippler stretches out, and barely makes contact with Lazarus’ outstretched hand, but a tag nonetheless! Lazarus runs in and drops a quick elbow on Rex’s back! Crippler to his feet follows up with an elbow of his own!
Eryk Masters: Some fast double teaming by the challengers! Too fast for T. Rex?
Lazarus drops a second elbow as Crippler gets back to his feet! Crippler goes for his second, but Rex is able to roll out of the way! Laz stays in rhythm, going to drop another elbow…but stops short when he sees his partner is the target! Crippler points at Laz accusingly, and the distraction costs them, as Rex is able to turn Laz around, hooking him for a HUGE Belly to Belly suplex that shakes the ring!
Other Guy: That extra mass Crippler mentioned earlier this week? That just shook his partner to his very core!
Rex reaches out and makes the much needed tag to Arch Angel! The crowd is elated as Rex picks up Crippler and Angel runs the ropes! Rex hooks Crippler in for a Russian legsweep, and goes back with the move as Angel connects with a big boot! Crippler is rocked all the way to the arena floor! Rex leaves the ring as Angel hones in on Lazarus! He lifts up the L-A-Z and whips him into the ropes. Laz tries to reverse, but there’s no way. Angel puts on the breaks and throws Lazarus HARD into the nearby corner! Which happens to be where T. Rex is catching his breath!
Eryk Masters: Lazarus is in enemy territory!
Angel drives an elbow into the face of Lazarus, and tags in Rex! Angel holds Laz in the corner as Rex gets a good running start. Rex charges and Angel moves at the last second! Rex squashes Lazarus with a running avalanche! Corey crumples in the corner, looking very worse for wear.
Angel is barely on the ring apron when he is tagged back in by T. Rex. Angel gets back into the ring and picks up a near lifeless Lazarus. He grabs Laz by the arm and goes to whip him, but pulls back and nearly DECAPITATES The Hollywood Kid with a short arm clothesline!
Eryk Masters: Angel hangs on to the arm of Lazarus! He’s not ready to stop this punishment!
Angel holds up one finger to the crowd, and they cheer. They know what that means. Angel pulls Lazarus to his feet, and goes for a second short arm clothesline…BUT LAZ DUCKS.
And charges right into his corner, using the momentum from Angel’s irish whip! He springboards off the corner, Crippler slapping his back on the way up.
Other Guy: That’s a tag!
Angel thinks twice, and ducks Lazarus’ attempt at a crossbody. Laz rolls through behind Angel, who is more concerned by the crossbody from Lunatikk Crippler!
Eryk Masters: CAUGHT! Crippler caught in midair by the near seven footer!
Angel has Crippler ready to be planted with a powerslam, but Laz springboards off the top rope, driving BOTH FEET into the shoulder of Arch Angel! Crippler gets dropped unceremoniously onto the canvas as Angel hits his knees, clutching his shoulder painfully.
Eryk Masters: A weird reaction: The fans applaud the effort by the challengers, but feel for one half of the reigning Tag Team Champions!
Crippler takes Angel’s hurting arm and twists it hard, driving the shoulder into the canvas! Tony Lorenzo is ushering Lazarus into the corner, but not before he gets Crippler’s attention. Laz points to Angel’s shoulder, and then to his own head.
Other Guy: Lazarus showing a sign of good faith to his partner, showing Crippler he’s softening Angel up for his patented Crossface, Bitchified.
Eryk Masters: Orrrrr he’s calling for a headbutt.
Crippler fires a right hand to the face of Arch Angel as he tries to get to his feet. Angel is holding his left shoulder close as he does, but he uses his free hand to shove Crippler backwards. The power of Arch Angel gets a bit of distance, but Crippler uses the momentum to bounce off the ropes, firing a dropkick right in the shoulder! Angel lets out a gasp of pain, but still is able to get to his feet!
Crippler charges and ducks a clothesline from Angel’s good arm. He rebounds off the ropes and EATS a lariat….WITH ANGEL’S BAD ARM! Crippler hits the mat, stunned, as Angel shakes out his arm, in obvious pain. Crippler regains his bearings and snares Angel’s knee to bring him back to Earth, before transitioning into a Fujiwara armbar!
Eryk Masters: Few know exactly how devastating a hold that is. Simple, yet brutal.
Other Guy: Crippler is yanking on that arm, pulling it in a way that it’s not supposed to be going!
Eryk Masters: Right. It affects a lot more than the elbow joint, and the wrist. More specifically, it grinds the shoulder hard. Angel’s got to feel like he’s got broken glass under his skin.
Angel is in agony on the canvas, and T. Rex is reaching out for his partner, but he’s too far away! Rex starts pounding the turnbuckle pad in rhythm, and pretty soon, the entire crowd is clapping along! Clapping, stomping, whistling, the Epicenter is alive, full of people in support of Sin City’s Official Tag Team! Angel starts to get a bit of life in him, and Crippler shakes his head in disbelief! Angel powers up to his knees, releasing some of the pressure of the hold! Crippler is pulled up as well, and he fires a kick, right in the armpit! A single gasp of pain escapes Angel’s lips, and Crippler doesn’t waste a moment. He bounds off the ropes, coming back just in time to EAT A BIG BOOT FROM ARCH ANGEL! The fans EXPLODE!
Eryk Masters: These fans love Crippler, but they are also firmly behind ANARCHY!
Both men are on the mat, in each others’ way to their respective corners. Lazarus has his arm reached out for the tag, and Rex is stretching out as far as humanly possible! Crippler starts crawling toward his corner, crossing Angel’s legs as he does. Angel is using his good arm to pull himself up.
Crippler DIVES and slaps the hand of Corey Lazarus to a pop!
Angel stands and FALLS towards his corner as Lazarus enters the ring, making contact with the outstretched bear claw of T. Rex!
Eryk Masters: Double hot tag!
Laz almost stops in his tracks as a refreshed powerhouse who calls himself Sexy Rexy enters the ring, pointing in his direction. Laz tries a right hand, but it’s blocked! Rex fires off a right, but Laz ducks! Laz tries a knee to the stomach, but Rex gets his own leg up to block! Rex tries a lariat, but Lazarus ducks!
Eryk Masters: Counter after counter! Amazing!
Laz rotates in place, coming after Rex with a spinning backfist! It grazes the side of Rex’s face as he tries to duck and spins himself, CLOBBERING Corey Lazarus with a lariat that makes him backflip in place!
Other Guy: HOLY CRAP WHAT AN IMPACT!
Lazarus looks limp in the ring and Rex wastes no time in covering!
Crippler breaks it up in a hurry! He starts stomping away at T. Rex until ARCH ANGEL re-enters the fray, nailing Crippler with a right hand! Crip hits the mat but is quick back to his feet and soon, both men are trading rapid blows! Rex picks up the fallen Lazarus and throws him into the ropes! Laz counters a back body drop attempt with a kick to the mush! Rex is snapped up and Laz smothers him with a Thesz press!
BUT REX STAYS ON HIS FEET! He clutches Lazarus in a Bearhug! Crippler ducks a right hand from Arch Angel and rushes to plant both boots in the back of T. Rex!
AND IT BACKFIRES! Rex goes down, with Lazarus crushed underneath!
Other Guy: Welp, looks like it was Crippler who screwed up!
Eryk Masters: At least the bearhug is broken!
Rex is on top for the count! As Angel blasts Crippler from behind!
Lazarus rolls his shoulder up! Crippler rolls out of the ring as Angel takes his place back in his corner. Rex gets to his feet and tags his partner back in! Angel comes in and brings Lazarus to his feet. He tucks him in between his legs and points out to the crowd!
Eryk Masters: Looks like we’re gonna see the Weight of the Halo!
Lazarus was thinking the same thing. He begins to fire a few desperation shots into the quads of Angel, hoping to knot one up! Angel releases Lazarus, so it looks to be successful! Laz stands upright, but quickly DUCKS a clothesline attempt from Angel! Laz turns and wait for the big man to do the same before unleashing the FACE CHOP!
Eryk Masters: Borrowed from Ray Valjean! Effective as hell!
Angel staggers, and Lazarus spins and unloads with a SECOND Face Chop that brings him to a knee! The crowd is then AWED as Lazarus unleashes his deadly roundhouse enziguiri!
Other Guy: END CREDITS! That just looks unreal every time I see it!
Corey hooks the leg of Angel and Lorenzo slides into position!
BUUUUUUUT there’s T. Rex before the count could be made, nailing Lazarus, and unfortunately, also his partner with his Extinction Event!
Eryk Masters: Angel’s gonna feel a little bit of that, but Corey Lazarus got ALL of that reverse splash!
Rex gets up, celebrating, not realizing that he’s not the only man on his feet.
Lunatikk Crippler stands hunched, stalking his prey with intent to do harm.
Other Guy: Hey Teddy? DON’T turn around.
Of course, he does, and Crippler leaps high, taking Rex off his guard, and grabbing the big man from around the neck, driving him FACE FIRST into the canvas!
Eryk Masters: LUNATIKK SWEET CONNECTING!
Other Guy: I TOLD him!
Crippler gets up, looking to pull cover Rex, but Lorenzo reminds him he’s not the legal man! Arch Angel is and his is wobbly back on his feet! Crippler goes back to him, looking to snare the arm, but Angel boots him in the stomach, doubling him over! Crippler is then snared up by Arch Angel, and his favorite cradle piledriver!
Other Guy: Weight of the Halo! I can’t believe Angel has the strength left in him!
Eryk Masters: I think Tony Lorenzo has lost ALL control of this match!
He has, but this is the World Tag Team Championships, so he’s letting it happen! Angel rolls Crippler over, and goes for the cover!
THR-COREY LAZARUS! Laz breaks up the pinfall JUST IN TIME!
Other Guy: He wouldn’t count the pin for Crippler, but he’ll do it for Angel? Crippler is NOT the legal man!
Laz begins to hammer on Angel, who is STILL getting back to his feet!
Eryk Masters: All of these men have got to be feeling the effects this match has taken on them! But somehow…these two men are STILL standing!
Angel is up, and blocks a right hand from Lazarus, and fires one of his own! Corey stumbles back, into the waiting grasp of T. Rex, who pulls him down with a school boy rollup!
Lazarus kicked out! He scoots away from Rex, but RIGHT INTO THE SMALL PACKAGE FROM ARCH ANGEL!
THREE!!!! NO! REVERSAL!
CRIPPLER TRIPS REX AS HE TRIES TO INTERFERE! THREE! THREE!
The bell rings! This one is over! The crowd roars in approval of the hard fought contest, as well as the winners!
Samantha Coil: At the time of twenty-six minutes, thirty-one seconds, your winners….AND NEWWWWWWWWWWWWW SHOOT PROJECT WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS…Lunatikk Crippler and Corey Lazarus!
“Battleflag” comes back on as Lorenzo hands the Tag Team titles to Corey Lazarus, who hands the other to his new partner, Lunatikk Crippler.
Eryk Masters: By the skin of their teeth, new Tag Team Champs have been crowned!!
Other Guy: A helluva match! The champs gave it their all, but the stamina and skill of the challengers may have played a crucial role in their victory! What a match!
Lazarus pounds the mat in celebration, but it seems two men are not in the mood to celebrate. Arch Angel. T. Rex, and both men have come up behind the new champs.
Eryk Masters: Not good.
Crippler is the first to turn around, and semi-jumps in surprise. He slaps Laz on the back to get his attention. Lazarus turns and sees the imposing image of a pair of now FORMER champions.
Eryk Masters: May 29th, 2013. That’s when Anarchy defeated Sex and Violence to become World Tag Team Champions. Over a full, calendar year later, and the titles no longer belong to them.
Other Guy: It was part of who they were. What’s going to happen here now?
Crippler lays his title down, not backing away, motioning for Angel and Rex to bring it on.
Angel starts to grin. He and Rex stand there, applauding the new champs to a tremendous ovation. Crippler is taken aback, as is Lazarus, but they begin to grin, and reach out for a shake.
Arch Angel grins again, taking the hand. Before Crippler can protest, he’s pulled into a man hug from Angel. Laz and Rex shake hands, and also embrace in the center of the ring.
Eryk Masters: You see. THIS is what I love about wrestling. Sportsmanship. No hard feelings. Going out there and earning the respect of your opponents by going through the fight of your lives!
Other Guy: Had to be one of the toughest tests for Anarchy to date. Unfortunately, tonight, they did not get the passing grade.
Eryk Masters: I want to see this match again. Soon.
On the EpiTron, a single spotlight shines down on a sole figure, his back turned to the camera. Strings are heard, building to the opening of “Unchained”, a mashup of James Brown and Tupac. The individual wears a black leather jacket and a cloth black hood over his head. On the back of the leather jacket is the image of a lion’s head outlined in white. It is clearly a man, and the jacket seems new. He is breathing heavily, making the stylized lion’s head seem to breathe in unison. Then, a whispered voice.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil…”
He slowly turned his head, revealing a bandanna tied over the man’s mouth. The bandanna is fashioned to be the open snarling mouth of the lion, styled similarly to the design on the back of the jacket. The hood hides his eyes, the camera catching only the snarling mouth of the lion.
“…because I am the baddest mother fucker in the valley.”
Eryk Masters: Wait a second…what’s this now?
The screen goes black. The arena goes black. Tupac’s voice is heard in the darkness.
Am I wrong ‘cause I wanna get it on ‘til I die?
Am I wrong ‘cause I wanna get it on ‘til I die?
Get it on ‘til I die
Get it on ‘til I die
Y’all, y’all remember me
I like the way you die, boy.
Other Guy: I don’t think I’d heard about any new signings…
The man appears at the entrance to the arena dressed in black pants, black shoes, black leather jacket and a hood pulled over his head, a sole spotlight shining down on him. He marches down to the ring with his head bowed and his fists clenched. The camera catches glimpses of the snarling lion’s mouth on the bandanna wrapped around his face. He keeps his head down and enters the ring by walking up the ring steps. He marches to the center of the ring, his head bowed.
Eryk Masters: I guess we’re gonna hear about who this is pretty quickly. No videos, no vignettes…he’s just coming down to the ring, this guy.
The man slowly raises his hands to his hood and pulls it back. The fans start to buzz as he reaches behind his head and unties the bandanna to reveal…
Other Guy: It’s…it’s…
The fans ERUPT as King stands there, microphone in hand. A HUGE chant kicks in throughout the arena.
He slowly brings the microphone to his lips, letting the fans cheer a little bit longer.
Eryk Masters: Oh man…it feels like SHOOT is just that much more complete. DONOVAN KING IS BACK.
After a few moments, the fans quiet down.
Donovan King: I hope y’all as happy to see me as I am to see y’all.
The fans POP. He stands there for a moment, soaking it in.
Donovan King: I see a lotta old face an’ I see a lotta new faces in the back an’ on these shows. I see new champions, old champions, an’ it’s crazy. I mean, it’s insane.
These muhfuckers think this right here…is their ring.
The fans begin to cheer.
Donovan King: These muhfuckers think this right here…is their world.
They cheer even more.
Donovan King: THESE MUHFUCKERS THINK THIS RIGHT HERE…IS THEIR THRONE.
They get even louder.
Donovan King: Fact uh the matter is, boys…y’all can’t sit on the throne…while the King is here.
The fans continue their cheering as King pauses.
Donovan King: See, it’s real simple, Soldiers. I don’t care if we’re friends, I don’t care if we’re enemies. I don’t care if you jerk the curtain or you main event. I don’t care if you a Hall of Famer or a SHOOT Recruit. Bottom line is this.
I’ve been World Heavyweight Champion.
I’ve been Soldier of the Year.
I’ve been the winner of the Redemption Rumble.
One thing I ain’t ever been?
Donovan King: Master of the Mat.
The fans cheer louder than before.
Donovan King: An’ I’m gonna tear through this whole damn roster until I take what’s mine. An’ after that? Whoever has that World Championship better get ready to bow down.
Because the King is back.
Bend the knee, bitches.
King smirks as “Unchained” kicks in again, bringing the fans to their feet.
Eryk Masters: You have GOT to be kidding me! My heart has emptied out its bladder all over my nice new shirt! Donovan King is BACK and he’s put SHOOT Project on NOTICE!
Other Guy: He’s broken records, he’s broken bones, and now he’s going for the one accolade that has eluded him his whole career! Donovan King has entered himself into the Master of the Mat tournament! I can’t believe it!
The SHOOT Project Helmet and trademark appear on screen as King stands tall on the turnbuckle, glaring out at the sea of fans as they cheer him on, louder than ever.
Donovan King is back.